OCD and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Fear of coming into contact with perceived contaminated substances, such as germs or dirt.
- Fear of causing harm to yourself or someone else because you’re not careful enough or you’re going to act on a violent impulse.
- Unwanted thoughts or mental images related to sex.
- Fear of making a mistake.
- Excessive concern with morality (“right or wrong”).
- Feelings of doubt or disgust.
- Excessive concern with your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Need for order, neatness, symmetry or perfection.
- Need for constant reassurance.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which you have frequent unwanted thoughts and sensations (obsessions) that cause you to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors can significantly interfere with social interactions and performing daily tasks.
The most common treatment plan for OCD involves psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help you identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors. You work with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist.
There are several types of psychotherapy. The most common and effective forms for treating OCD include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): During CBT, a therapist will help you examine and understand your thoughts and emotions. Over several sessions, CBT can help alter harmful thoughts and stop negative habits, perhaps replacing them with healthier ways to cope.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP): ERP is a type of CBT. During ERP, a therapist exposes you to your feared situations or images and has you resist the urge to perform a compulsion. For example, your therapist may ask you to touch dirty objects but then stop you from washing your hands. By staying in a feared situation without anything negative happening, you learn that your anxious thoughts are just thoughts and not necessarily reality.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): ACT helps you learn to accept obsessive thoughts as just thoughts, taking the power away from them. An ACT therapist will help you learn to live a meaningful life despite your OCD symptoms.
Mindfulness techniques such as meditation and relaxation can also help with symptoms.
No matter how hopeless or helpless you might feel, there is always a spark of hope and help is available for you. Let us help you get there…